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Golden Rooster nominees kindle Chinese appreciation for Taiwan’s Golden Horse Awards

Chinese netizens mourn loss of art in Golden Rooster Awards, commend ‘transparent’ judging in Taiwan

The Golden Rooster Awards logo. (Weibo, Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Film Festival image)

The Golden Rooster Awards logo. (Weibo, Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Film Festival image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Chinese netizens condemned the bad taste of China’s film industry in comparison to Taiwan’s following the Golden Rooster Awards’ announcement of nominees on Monday (Nov. 29).

After the Golden Horse Award Ceremony held on Saturday (Nov. 27), the organizers of China’s Golden Rooster Awards abruptly released the shortlist of nominees on Monday. The six titles named in the “Best Picture” category included four “dedication” films that celebrate the Chinese Communist Party’s centenary: “Chinese Doctors,” “Island Keeper,” “My People, My Homeland,” and “The Pioneer.”

Commenters on Weibo (China’s Twitter equivalent) were not impressed. The top comment, left by user “Watching the Bright Moonlight on the Short Wall” (望明月半牆), read, “Is Chinese cinema really doomed.” Another user “Zhao Xiao San” (Zhao小三) wrote, “If you can not find nominees you can not nominate anyone, there’s no need at all to make up numbers; I really want Chinese cinema to boom, yet you ruin your own reputation.”

Other comments under the Weibo announcement were left by fans of actor Jackson Yee (易烊千璽), who received a best actor nomination for “A Little Red Flower.”

In a separate Weibo post, user “A Drunk, Wandering Sailor” (酒醉的流浪水手) mourned the loss of art in Chinese cinema by comparing the Golden Rooster Awards to Taiwan’s Golden Horse Awards. The user blasted the industry’s infatuation with “data traffic,” which refers to celebrities like Yee who attract online clicks or views due to their popularity with mainstream audiences.

“The point of film festivals’ existence should be to encourage the development of film art, not to benefit commercial films and data traffic stars,” it read. “The judges may have long forgotten what the word ‘golden’ looks like, leaving just a pile of chicken feathers on the floor.”

According to the user, though Chinese films did do well a few years ago, “out of the six Golden Rooster nominees this year, five are films with a mission, one is the worst anthology film, and as long as actors with data traffic participate [in productions], they can be nominated for just a few minutes of barely noticeable appearance.”

The post lauded the quality and diversity of Golden Horse-winning films, which have covered subjects such as adolescence, family, homosexuality, and social issues in the past few years. “Nearly every one of them made it to Douban’s (major Chinese social media service featuring film reviews) top ten list of the year,” the user wrote. “While zero of the Golden Rooster nominees did.”

Another reason the user prefers the Golden Horse Awards is for its transparent judging and adherence to standards held by the three major European film awards. The Golden Horse Awards’ judging system “is open and transparent; its methodology and number of voting rounds are explained afterward… every year the judges are different,” wrote the user.

“As for the Golden Rooster Awards, what are the criteria for judging, who gets to vote, how many votes are there, what are the job type and gender ratios of the judges… we don’t know. Nada. God gets to decide.”

The Golden Rooster Awards are considered one of the most prestigious film awards in China and have tried to compete with Taiwan’s Golden Horse Awards, which are traditionally viewed as the Oscars for Chinese-language films.

Following the political controversy that erupted over the 2018 Golden Horse Awards, Chinese authorities boycotted the Taiwanese award. Chinese filmmakers and productions were prevented from submitting their work for the competition, while Golden Rooster Award organizers began scheduling award ceremonies to coincide with Golden Horse award ceremonies.

Updated : 2022-01-25 14:01 GMT+08:00